Published 8/6/2011 in Pro-Am
By KEVIN THOMPSON
In golf team competitions, the goal is simple--go low. As in sub-60.
Brad Nading/Telegram Amateur Alan Antolak tries to help his putt in to the cup with a little body English Friday at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course during the Southwest Kansas Pro-Am.
Of the 58 foursomes, six teams shot under 60 on the first day of team play at the Southwest Kansas Pro-Am on Friday.
Leading the way with a 57 (14-under) at the Golf Club at Southwind was the team of Shawn Audrain, Dan Kollhoff, Damon McDonald and Guy Donahue. One back at Southwind with a 58 (13-under) were Alan Gauldin, Bill Clifford, Steve Henson and Troy Dirks.
Four teams shot 59s (13-under) at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course to tie for second in the team standings heading into today's final round, with each team playing at the other course.
Audrain's group, made up of three Southwind members, shot a 29-28 to come in with the low team score of the day.
"A little home course advantage," Audrain said. "We parred three of the last four holes (his group started on the back nine), so it could have been 55."
With course conditions near perfect, that group shot two eagles on their way to the 58. Gauldin's group played in the afternoon under what he described as "sultry" conditions but nearly perfect.
"The conditions of the greens were excellent," Gauldin said. "The Thursday night rains were a blessing."
But it was team effort that was the key to their round, Gauldin said.
"When one person missed, there was always somebody there to pick up the slack," he said. "We never really struggled. It was a fun round all the way around. Putts rolled in. Drives stayed in the fairway. Our pro played well."
Their pro, Mitch Hendon, shot a 65.
"We used him," Clifford said. "When your pro shoots 65, you use him."
Starting on the back nine, they sank a long curving downhill putt for birdie, the start of a long string of them as they made the turn.
"Everybody just clicked together," Henson said.
Mark Runge, Kent Colvin, Mike Henry and John Avellar was one group at Buffalo Dunes to shoot 59.
"We got off to a slow start this morning," Colvin said. "We couldn't get anything to go. We weren't hitting good quality shots."
They shot 5-under on the back nine and were happy with that, but their pro Klinton Kriegel took charge. He made eagle on No. 5, birdie at No. 6, then drove the green on No. 7 to within 10 feet, where he made another eagle.
"Conditions were great," Colvin added. "Considering all we've had (for weather) this season, the superintendents are making the most with what they have."
Playing right behind Colvin's group were his son Kevin, Grant Shellenberger, Scott Mackey and Doyle McGraw.
They started with a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 10 and made the turn at 5-under. Feeling "a little bummed," Mackey said McGraw shared a can of mixed nuts and suggested they just "kick back and enjoy the day."
The mixed nuts must have been magic because that group birdied eight of their next nine holes.
"We just had to enjoy ourselves more," Mackey said. "The course conditions this morning were spectacular. You thought it was an April day.
"The greens were lush, the fairways nice and the place looked immaculate."
Playing in his 24th event, Mackey said the cool north breeze in the morning was a welcome change from the south wind he's used to.
"It was a really good walk that turned out well," he said.
The other teams to fire 59 were Mark Randall, Scott Koksal, Jake Price and Jamie Warren and Mark Green, Don Geier, Jeff George and Jon Irsik. Six teams were tied at 60, nine at 61 and 11 at 62.
See results in Scoreboard, Page D2.
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